Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chuck E Cheese

I had been waiting for it. Our grocery store is right next door to Chuck E Cheese. Meredith sees ads for Chuck E Cheese (which Meredith pronounces Chuck E Cheesus) before Sesame Street and Mickey, so I figured she would know that it was someplace she should check out. The other day, it finally happened. On the way into the store, Meredith said "Mommy, what is that?" I told her and she replied "I want to go there!" So I told her we would plan a trip. Later that week, Meredith was with my mom when she saw another ad for Chuck E Cheese. She told Gigi that she was going to go and said "Do you want to come too? It is right by my grocery store if you look to the left." What? Really?

So the next week, we met up with Katie and her mom for a fun morning! The girls loved playing together - Meredith's favorite were all the rides, especially the huge rocking horse that you had to climb a ton of stairs to get to and we all had fun playing for lots and lots of tickets (that only bought about ten cents worth of stuff, but the girls were so excited anyway!) She was pretty apprehensive about sitting near the characters as they sung, but she warmed up to them. Chuck E. Cheese made a trip through the store, too - Katie couldn't wait to give him a hug. Meredith, however, clung to me for dear life. Even with appearanced by Chuck himself and the singing characters, she can't wait to go back.
The girls love getting together and were so excited to get to play!
On one of the many rides that Meredith loved!
This fun game let you call Chuck E. Cheese - which she did, but she told us she also made a call or two to her friends Sarah and Rachel!
That is some serious ski-balling!
She got so excited when she one SO many tickets all from one game!

Sassy Hair

After lots of soul-searching and poll-taking, I decided it was time for a real haircut for Meredith. She was super excited to go back to where we got her hair trimmed a few months ago, because you get to sit in a car and watch movies. Neal was luckily there for moral support otherwise the tears that I fought back as the long chunks of hair fell to the floor might have been rolling down my face. She looks so cute with short hair but it is still hard to think about because she looks so much more like a big girl than she did before!

Mesmerized by Dora. This happened to be the Dora where she has twins with her, which led Meredith to say, "I only have one baby. I want two." Daddy was a little freaked out.

Look at all that long hair on the floor - this is where I almost lost it!!

The finished do!

Look at that very professional hair fling from Meredith!

Los Coltos Locos

In High School, Neal and his friends Micah and Aaron would dress up for all the girls basketball games and called themselves Los Coltos Locos. These three guys are still friends and we are blessed to be in the same Sunday School class with them and their wives. We are also so blessed that as the three of them each got married, we all just meshed. Joyce and Aaron found out that they were expecting their first, Austin just a month after we learned that Jillian was on her way. Then just a few months later, Micah and Krista learned they were expecting baby Noah (who will be born this fall). How fun that we were all pregnant at the same time and these three beautiful babies will grow up together too. The other night we all got together for dinner and had a blast on a beautiful evening outside.
Neal and Jillian hanging out with Aaron and Austin. It kind of looks like Jillian is already embarrassed by her Daddy's silliness.

Micah manned the amazing grill - the food was fabulous!

We brought Meredith's bike and lots of other fun toys - she loved the patio!

I just loved this picture of the sweet Pierce family

Meredith's Friends

Meredith has a serious love of all things stuffed. You will always see her with her very best friend, Pinky (and maybe even two or three of them depending upon the day) and often Pinky is accompanied by any one of many other favorites at the moment - these include Grover (a gift from Uncle Mike to Jillian, that was adopted by Meredith until Jillian could truly appreciate his greatness), Matt-a-hat (or you might know him as Cat in the Hat - it isn't that Meredith can't say that, she will tell us "I have a cat, his name is Matt-a-hat"), then there are hundreds of puppies, a few dolls, a penguin from Sea World (or Quinguin), her turtle (that she got at the Halloween carnival and named Jesus), and probably just about anything else you could find in the zoo or on a farm. They are all happiest when in bed with her, of course. I, from time-to-time, move a few into the playroom so that there will be a little room for Meredith to sleep to. It is always so cute to go in and check on her after she falls asleep - she sometimes lines them up so they all have their head on a pillow, but the other night, she had just surrounded her with all of her friends, including my bear that Neal gave me for Christmas when we first started dating. She was really excited to get to sleep with Mommy's bear!

She also loves to just play with all of her friends. Here she made them a "carouself" out of her Minnie Mouse umbrella and twirled them around in circles. She tells each to take turns and puts them onto their own little section very carefully. Too cute.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jillian's 3 month photos

I am so excited to share these pictures of Jillian. My friend, Adrien Maroney of apmDesign Photography did this beautiful shoot for us. We are already signed up with her to document the rest of Jillian's first year and I can't wait to see them all! I am really having a hard time narrowing these down to just a few favorites, but I will do my best...

Since that one was probably my favorite, you get it in B&W and color!

I love this one because it shows Jillian and her favorite pasttime of trying to get away with finding her thumb/finger instead of her paci!

I was not prepared to be a part of this shoot, so luckily Jillian is cute enough to make up for my lack of make-up.

Jillian decided she was done at this one - so the paci had to stay, and I love how cute it is with it in (even upside-down!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Potty Party!

Today was a big day - Big Girl Potty Party Day! Meredith and her friend, Sydney have both been a little hung up on learning to go potty, so Sydney's mommy and I decided that maybe a group effort would do the trick. We set up with suckers, chocolate, stickers, and potty hats - not to mention the 3 potty options for the girls. The girls did awesome and both mommies were very proud.
In between the potty parties, the girls had lots and lots of fun (evident from all the toys in the background of this picture!), but my favorite time was when the girls were all dressed up in princess dresses complete with their tools that they were using to build us a house (aka hammering loudly on the door and squeling in delight!) Every princess needs a hammer and saw right?

Carson and Jillian did a little bonding too by linking arms while talking...

...and gazing into each other's eyes!

Jillian is 3 months old

This week marks Jillian's 3 month birthday. It has been a very busy month being kicked off with me heading back to work. I hated to leave my little girl for the first time (even though she was going to stay with Gigi or Bubbie everyday and I am still working just part time) of course I was just as sad to be giving up my fun days with Meredith too. Jillian also started sleeping in her bed for the first time this month - we held her over in her bassinet that was by our bed a little longer than planned, but she did great (more importantly, so did I!) I think she loved how comfy her bed is, because soon after moving over, she started sleeping through the night. This little girl loves her paci so much and has even started to find her fist when her paci isn't right where she needs it. Much to her dismay, she hasn't figured out that she needs to untuck her thumb to really get the most out of this position, I am hoping to hold off on that, but we'll see! She has become more and more vocal these past few weeks with lots of fun shreiks (that Meredith loves to impersonate) and little coos (that Meredith will interpret for me to her liking) and, as I posted the other day, we get lots of fun laughs - kisses and raspberries are sure to bring out a chuckle. And she also loves to have you play with or kiss on her feet. On our trip, Gigi was kissing her toes and when she would stop, Jillian would stick them back up in the air every time, almost begging her to continue. It was too cute! She has also developed a love of twirling , patting, and pulling her hair (luckily she still has plenty to do that with!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

San Antonio Girls Trip 2009

After a very successful trip last summer to San Antonio, mom and I were excited to take Meredith back and to add Jillian to our girls trip (I should stop calling it that - we are hoping to convince Katie and Landon to come on the next one...) We hit some of Meredith's favorites from last year, including Sea World, the Riverwalk, and the market (complete with a bus ride to get us there and home which she loved again this year!)- but this year we also hit the San Antonio zoo!
Look at my big girl riding in an umbrella stroller! She did great in this and it was essential with all the steps on the riverwalk. The best part was that everyone that passed us could see my sweet baby's face and hair! I have never had so many people tell me how cute she was or how much they loved her hair. I was starting to get an ego about how great my genes are! :)

She fell in love with this hat - we could hardly take it off of her the whole trip and when she would put it on, she would exclaim, "I am Cowgirl Mermiff!"

We opted for a River Taxi ride instead of a tour like we took last year - I thought it would be shorter, unfortunatley we got on it later than we should have and then ended up being on it FOREVER to get back to somewhere we recognized. Luckily everyone was loving the views

The next day we hit Sea World, Jillian was a great sport in the tremendous heat and such a cutie in her hat.
Meredith must have been in a hat phase this weekend because she told us before we got to Sea World she wanted a dolphin hat. We didn't find one of those, but we luckily happened upon this Penguin one.

As we headed in for a second trip through the penguin exhibit, we saw this guy - Meredith refused to say hello, but halfway through seeing the real penguins, she insisted we go back to give him a hug. I think this picture really shows how she felt about him up close!
Later, we saw him again with his dolphin friend - she was much braver this time!

Our last day, we headed to the San Antonio zoo - it is smaller than our zoo, but it had some great exhibits and had some fun kid-friendly activities including a toddler area that Meredith loved!
The zoo has a beautiful butterfly house that Meredith and I walked through - here are she and Jillian showing a few of the life stages of a butterfly.
Meredith planned to send this goat to timeout since he stole the food we bought for him from the hole of the machine before I had time to get it. Luckily I had another quarter and had learned my lesson so we did finally get to feed them ourselves.
Even at a new zoo, Meredith performed her favorite zoo activity of feeding the fish.

Meredith and Gigi also took a train ride while Jillian and I stayed behind in the A/C - Meredith waited all day to ride and was so excited - and then fell asleep almost immediately.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Such a sweet sound!

Last night, while changing Jillian's diaper, she was so happy. She always loves looking up at the flower mobile above her changing table, so she was already grinning so much - so of course, I couldn't resist a little tickle time and then lots of raspberries on her belly. Pretty soon I heard her sweet little laugh for the first time! She has been doing lots of coos and other "talky" noises, but this was a full on laugh! I was so excited and called Neal in and he helped me get a few more from her. I tried to capture it, but of course she didn't want to cooperate for the camera, but I know there are lots more where those came from!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jillian's First Day of Sunday School

This morning we took Jillian to her "Sunday School" class for the first time. She has come with us for a few weeks now to our class because we were waiting for her shots to send her to the nursery, so today was the day! She did great and I think the nursery workers enjoyed loving on her!
All dressed up for church!

I was excited to let my girls match for church today and even more excited when Meredith offered herself up for this photoshoot!

4th of July Parade and Party

After our fun family evening, we woke up on the 4th and headed to the Arlington 4th of July Parade. Meredith loved the horses and would drum on her belly every time a high school band would pass by. She decided that she needed Santa to bring her a tiny 18-wheel truck that one boy rode past in. I guess I didn't react as positively as she hoped, so she followed up the request for herself with "Baby Jillian would love that truck." Smart girl, huh?

Meredith loved waving at the floats that went by - and would get so excited when they would wave back!

Neal tried to teach her the Arlington Colts hand sign so she could get ready for high school.

After the parade, Gigi and Papa opened up their house for a Sunday School party. The kids of course loved both pools, the hot dogs, and some great desserts!